Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Cincinnati Review booth at this year’s AWP! The conference passed in a blur of old friends, new faces, and wonderful conversations. We also got to meet some of our contributors, including Aaron Coleman, whose poem “Very Many Hands” won this year’s Seventh Annual Robert and Adele Schiff Award in Poetry and will appear in issue 14.1.
Posts Tagged ‘AWP’
Thanks to all those who came out to listen and support at Monster Mags of the Midwest last night. As Jane Austen would say: it was a veritable crush. A reminder that we are once again running our famed AWP 3-for-1 deal. Stop by our, Mid-American Review’s, or Ninth Letter’s table to get an annual sub to all three journals for a mere $33!
One week ago today I began my new role as managing editor of The Cincinnati Review. In addition to wresting The Chicago Manual of Style from former managing editor Nicola Mason, who is small but mighty, I’ve learned that this gig requires wearing many hats (metaphorical hats, not actual ones. Hats look weird on me, and they make my head sweat.) Anyway, here are some of the first tasks I’ve tackled.
- Traversed campus twice in a quest to track down my office keys and ID card, which were thrust into limbo when a holiday threw the university’s key-makers off their game. Did you know that UC’s campus is known for its striking, innovative modern architecture? Did you know that striking, innovative modern architecture sometimes makes it hard to know where staircases lead?
- Scheduled a pizza party, then promptly cancelled it after catching the stomach flu from my twenty-two-month-old son. I also learned that pizza parties—OK, fine, meetings—a staple of the office when I was a graduate student on staff, languished after my departure. “You really like pizza,” I remember Nicola commenting. Yes, yes I do.
- Hired, from a pool of impressive candidates, two new staffers for next year, when two of our current staffers will (sniff) depart.
- Made arrangements to attend AWP, where I’ll work the CR’s table alongside our other editors, attend sessions, and (yay!) go to this year’s Monster Mags of the Midwest event.
- Wrote content and considered strategy for the magazine’s social media channels. Plus, Nicola and I filmed content for Cincinnati RevYouTube. Keep an eye out. (And follow us on Twitter!)
- Read several promising submissions passed on to me by the staff. And even though all of them won’t make their way into our pages—we, like most lit mags, receive more worthy work than we can fit into our issues—we still read these pieces with care and consideration, often requesting that the writer try us again.
Most of all, I’ve been heartened by things. I’m heartened by my colleagues at the magazine, who have kept the magazine afloat during this transition. I’m heartened that there are so many writers out there producing gorgeous work, work that cuts to the vital force of human experience. I’m heartened by our subscribers, who support the magazine and read the work we produce. Most of all, I’m heartened that I have a job where I get to help pieces of art make their way into the world. That’s something that definitely deserves a pizza party/meeting.
Our T-shirts were a hit at AWP: Pushing , shoving, and literary insults ensued as aspiring and veteran writers alike forgot their manners in trying to snag one of these grammatically-instructive-yet-hip pieces of wearable art. Which means we’ve only got a few of these babies left—snap one up before they’re gone! Featuring superb artwork by Anne Ferguson.
$20 apiece, including shipping. Small and medium sizes available in the women’s baby-blue ringer tee; unisex café au lait shirts are available in small and large. We’ve only got a few of each, so submit your orders pronto by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment can be made by credit card over the phone or by mailing a check (please email first to make sure we’ve still got your size).
Results of the Blue Pencil Prize: Laura Somerville, eagle-eye extraordinaire, has won yet another azul editorial implement to add to her collection. (She tells us she mounts them on the wall. Perhaps she’ll send a pic of her distinguished, and growing, blue-pencil display?) Thanks, Laura. You remind us that what we do—and don’t do—matters. If we screw up, people (well, you anyway) notice.
And speaking of syntactical infelicities, today’s other winner is . . . a T-shirt. But not just any T-shirt. Specifically, the Oxford-comma shirt we just had printed to transform the discriminating wearer into a walking grammar lesson. Hypercritical word nerds unite! This four-color, top-quality American Apparel anti-nakedness technology will be FREE to those who mosey over to our humble table at the AWP book fair and pony up for a three-year subscription. If you are actually naked, we might just shield our eyes and beg you to take one, because we at CR prize our innocence above all things.
NOTE: Quantities limited. Available in snug-fitting baby-blue ringer and traditional-cut cinder (or taupe, or cafe au lait, or day-old guacamole, or whatever you call the weird-yet-attractively grungy hue at left.)
Get ready, ’cause we’re gearing up for a second installment of Monster Mags of the Midwest at this year’s AWP conference in Chicago. That’s right. Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, and Ninth Letter are once again teaming up to deliver what will be, in all likelihood, the most awesomely monstrous reading ever. Because if there’s one thing the Midwest is known for, aside from antiunion legislation, it’s first-rate literary publishing. Our lineup includes some of the finest poetasters and fictionauts to have graced our collective pages. Please come see Mary Biddinger, Brock Clarke, Matthew Gavin Frank, Michael Robins, Laura Van den Berg, and Keith Lee Morris on Wednesday, February 29 at Murphy’s Bleachers, 3655 North Sheffield, located directly across the street from Wrigley Field (and the Harry Caray statue). Oh, and did we mention that this evening of entertainment would be . . . FREE. Really, the only thing that could make it even cooler is your presence, so pencil it in to your calendars now and plan to arrive at the conference in time to attend this hotly anticipated (by us, anyway) event!
Dear blog readers,
Though one member of our ragtag staff is still stranded in Atlanta, the rest of us made it back from AWP bleary-eyed but buoyant. We were contemplating a blog post that would convey our pell-mell, nerve-endings-afire conference experience when we happened upon volunteer staffer Don Peteroy’s Facebook account of our offsite reading with Mid-American Review and Ninth Letter. His nerve endings felt the same way ours did, so we decided to let him tell the story.
Don Peteroy: The big orgasmic moment of my weekend at AWP: the Saturday night reading. For several months, I’d been anxious about being part of the organizational team for this event. Here’s why:
I’m a musician. I’m extremely bitter and cynical about booking events because, invariably, the club owner’s expectations are never met. Take for instance ANY band I’ve played in. I have devoted hours to 1. securing venues (usually, the band has to make some kind of verbal promise to the club owner that the band will bring business, which in Cincinnati is almost impossible); 2. promoting (which, in the old days, involved spamming locals on Myspace, hanging flyers around town, sending personal email invitations, and lots of begging).
The night of the show comes along. I’ve got 20 friends who have promised to be there . . . and by the time my band hits the stage, there are two people in the audience: Cheryl and Phoebe. (God bless them.)
I’m now utterly embarrassed. As the band packs up, I either find myself avoiding the club owner at all costs (and knowing I’ll be blacklisted by that venue forever), or apologizing in some form or other. Thus I have been socially conditioned to avoid booking events. I hate doing that more than anything.
This relates to my orgasm, really.
Back in September, I was speaking to Nicola at Cincinnati Review. (Allow me to beg: get a subscription to this magazine. Even if I didn’t have a bias, I’d still say it’s one of the top five mags in the country. We publish THE BEST. According to Poets and Writers, we’re one of the magazines that literary agents browse for new talent.) I mentioned that maybe we should host an event in which three mags read. Originally, being that I’m an egotist, I considered asking Ellipsis, Oyez Review, and Cream City Review. Why? Because they all published me. Nicola’s idea was better. She has a working relationship with the Mid-American Review and Ninth Letter. Besides, with that group, we’d have a Midwest theme.
The next step was finding a location. This was the part I hated. A former UC student, Lauren Clarke, suggested about fifteen places within a mile of the hotel. This was mid-September. I started calling them, one by one. Some never called me back, some said, “We don’t do those kinds of events anymore; it’s bad for business,” and others said, “We’ve got the place booked that night.”
I felt lousy and couldn’t believe that other literary groups had gotten in so early. One woman was willing to have us . . . if we’d pay her $500 for the space.
The problem here, it seems, is that when readings are done and the audience leaves, other people don’t show up. It’s bad for business.
Luckily I found one place, called Bread & Brew. It was small. The owner took two weeks to get back to me, despite my frequent phone calls. Finally, we touched base on email. Then I realized that she’d put me down for the wrong night. This went back and forth, until, finally, she asked the question that I loathe: “How many people can you bring?”
With bands, you have to lie. You have to say thirty, though you damn well know that if ten friends come, you’ve had a great night.
I got back to her. I said to expect about thirty-five people.
Now I became really worried about what it would mean if ten people came. Sure, we had these “attending” promises on Facebook, but if I could trust that, I’d be a rock star by now.
Finally, after talking with Nicola, I raised the number to sixty.
God! I thought. Sixty is a lot! Let’s be realistic: when sixty people say they’ll be somewhere, fifteen will arrive.
When the day of the reading arrived, my anxiety grew. Phoebe and I got to Bread & Brew at a little after 6:00. But for the writer Darrin Doyle and a few stragglers from Bowling Green, the place was empty. I felt like this would be another rock-band-like disaster. But suddenly, at 7:00, the crowd arrived. Within minutes, seats were prime real estate. People were standing shoulder to shoulder; people were sitting on the floor. I got lucky; I was at a table with Darrin and Matt Bell. How odd it was since I admire their writing so much. I’ve read both of Doyle’s books, and frankly, he’s taught me to stop apologizing in my fiction and just say it. Matt Bell, on the other hand, sets the ideal of what an excellent short story should be. Plus, he works for Dzanc books, which is my favorite publisher.
A hundred twenty people came to the reading. It was so congested that people couldn’t make it downstairs. One of our readers saw the wall of people sitting in the stairway and turned around and went home. Some of my friends did the same: it was too crowded.
Amazing! While it’s sad that a lot of people didn’t get access, it’s also wonderful that so many came to support a reading. Indeed, we did have celebrity fiction writers and poets, who all read wonderful material.
I was buzzing. I was so happy that, for once, an event I initiated came to full fruition. No let downs, no apologizing. The bar made a lot of money. Plus I got to see friends and be part of a community of people whom I love, and to be accepted into this community.
I had a wonderful time, and it was a major success. Next year, bigger venue.
If you’ll be at AWP in DC, or even if you don’t know what that is but you’re within a two-week headlong sprint of Dupont Circle, then you should join the Monster Mags of the Midwest—Ninth Letter, Mid-American Review, and Cincinnati Review—for a fearsome night of reading, Heartland-style, with plenty of poetry, fiction, and beer on tap. Lots of bread, too, for some reason.
This is all happening on Saturday, February 5, at 7 p.m. in the Bread & Brew bar, which is on Dupont Circle, one quick metro stop from the AWP conference site: Bread & Brew, 1247 20th St., Washington, DC, 20036 (phone 202-466-2676).
Through your brew goggles (bread goggles?) you’ll see all of these Monster Mag writers get behind the mic:
Lucy Corin is the author of the short-story collection The Entire Predicament (Tin House Books) and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2). Stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Tin House, New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, and a lot of other places. She’s been a fellow at Breadloaf and Sewanee, and a resident at Yaddo and the Radar Lab. Lucy holds a BA from Duke University and an MFA from Brown. She’s an Associate Professor at University of California–Davis, where she teaches in the English Department and Creative Writing Program.
Fun fact: “She’s currently working on a book of a hundred very small apocalypses and a novel about the brain” [from her blog].
Bob Hicok’s most recent book is Words for Empty and Words for Full (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010). A recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim, and two NEA Fellowships, his poetry has been selected for inclusion in five volumes of Best American Poetry. Hicok is currently an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Fun fact [from the Poetry Foundation’s website]: Before he began his teaching career, Hicok has worked as an automotive dye designer and a computer system administrator.
Cate Marvin’s first book, World’s Tallest Disaster, was chosen by Robert Pinksy for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2001. Her second book of poems, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, was published by Sarabande in 2007. A recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize and a Whiting Award, she is co-editor with poet Michael Dumanis of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande, 2006). Cate teaches poetry writing in Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program and is an Associate Professor in creative writing at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.
Fun facts [from an interview with the magazine Redivider]: “I worked extensively with animals when I was in my teens: for a brief time at a pet store and then a couple of summers at an animal shelter. When young I was alternately obsessed with insects, horses, tropical fish, and, much later, parrots.”
“My day does not truly begin until I’ve acquired and consumed a 32-ounce Big Gulp of Diet Coke from 7-Eleven. It’s the Big Gulp that’s important, not 7-Eleven, where I find the employees rather disagreeable.”
Erika Meitner is the author of Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press, 2003), and Ideal Cities (HarperCollins, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry Series winner. Her third book, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, is due out from Anhinga Press in February 2011. Meitner’s poems have been anthologized widely, and have appeared most recently in APR, Virginia Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, The New Republic, and on Slate.com. She has received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she teaches in the MFA program, and is also completing her doctorate in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.
Fun fact [from her website]: “In addition to teaching creative writing at UVA, UW–Madison, and UC–Santa Cruz, she has worked as a dating columnist, an office temp, a Hebrew school instructor, a computer programmer, a lifeguard, a documentary film production assistant, and a middle-school teacher in the New York City public school system.”
Kevin Wilson is the author of the collection Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/Harper Perennial, 2009), which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee (with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his son, Griff), where he teaches fiction at the University of the South and helps run the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
Fun facts [from his blog]: “In high school . . . I was obsessed with how to comb my hair and I liked looking at men wearing suits, which seemed like the strangest attire in the world at the time.”
“ I can clearly remember wanting to marry Suzanne Vega.”